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    • Anyone and everyone can lose a motor - Blown ESS-Tuning VT3 supercharged M3 S65 V8 engine

      The photos you will see below are of a blown S65 V8. Even the novice enthusiast can glance over the photos and see that something clearly was not right. So who is at fault? Is it ESS for a sloppy product? Is is it the owner for pushing his setup beyond where he should have? Is it perhaps a bad batch of fuel? Is it perhaps a freak accident? Is it perhaps a combination? The point being when you supercharge a high revving V8 that comes from the factory naturally aspirated you are taking risks.

      No company is expected to cover user error. If this is a case of the user pushing too much boost it is clearly his own fault. However, if this is the case of a product that has not undergone significant testing and without the necessary quality tuning to accompany it that would mean blame is not in the hands of the user.

      BimmerBoost is quick to point out there are hundreds of ESS supercharged cars on the road logging thousands of miles and running well. BimmerBoost is also quick to point out there are not thousands of miles on VT3 built motor setups and ESS does not officially even offer such a setup. How some users end up with these setups that one can not even officially purchase is up to you to figure out.

      When modifying cars there is a certain risk involved. Especially when pushing past double the horsepower if not more than a car had off the assembly line. It is important to work with a company that will work with you. Somebody that understands that pushing the limit comes with risks and there may be errors that are not anyone's fault. You live, you learn, you move on, and try to address whatever needs to be addressed.

      Below you will find the owner's take and you will also find the take of ESS-Tuning. Read it all and come to your own conclusion. Additionally, if you wish to push the limit keep in mind you should choose a company that will work with you and address any problems for your benefit as well as their own. There is a difference between supercharging and tuning an M3 and building the M3 S65 V8, supercharging it, and tuning it. If you make the wrong decisions you may end up in a finger pointing game with nothing positive being accomplished.


















      Owner's Take:

      "It's a long story and the thread's title is self-speaking but I want to share that shitty situation I've been dropped in these "Happy New Year" days....

      My car is E90 M3 2008 with DCT - well known in Russia (Moscow Unlim 500+) and Europe being the fastest ESS car there.

      The story started in October 2009 when my car became the world's 1st production E9X M3 with ESS SC kit. The milleage was 13,000 miles at that moment. The car was DD and going through lots of pulleys and soft modifications, I was running VT2-625 with 92mm pulley (which is equal to VT2-650) for 2.5 years when in May 2012 at 67,000 miles the engine decided to blow... Piston is 7th cylinder was broken somehow and 3 inches hole appeared in the block...

      That time I bought low-milleage (less that 1,000 miles) used 2011 engine and installed it. In May 2013 I installed VT2-650 spec crank pulley and 94mm SC pulley which resulted to almost 9 psi boost. That setup was used for 1 day Race Event (1 Mile race) only with 104 RON race fuel. After that day the car was reverted to normal VT2-650 specs.

      However, in 2 weeks after that day this new engine also decided to blow, being used for 13,000 miles only... The hole in the block appeared in the 4th cylinder...

      No need to say that the car was always serviced with love and oil was changed every 3,000 miles and fuel used was 98+ RON...

      So, 2 engines gone is 1 year((((((((((

      That time I agreed with ESS to send the car as it is to Norway from Russia for full VT3 build... That was late June 2013.

      31 October 2013, after lots of problems with availability of BMW OEM spare parts, I received the car!!! However, it was tested on dyno for 50 runs and only half day of driving after the build cause it was very cold already in Norway...But the car was running absolutely clean during that testing (per ESS understanding) and Hans delivered the car to me!!!

      ESS did:

      1) fully build VT3 engine (low milleage "donor" was bought by them in Germany) with 10:1 pistons, Carillo rods, ESS rod bearings etc.

      2) fully build VT3 fuel system.

      3) VT3 belt system.

      I was very happy and started my long trip to Moscow (1,500 miles) which I considered the best way for breaking in the engine on good european fuel...

      On my trip to Moscow engine RPMs were no more than 4,000 - I am very conservative in breaking in procedures.... When I came to Moscow, I changed the oil and decided to go and make 2-3 runs from 40 to 250 kmh to understand the difference...

      In the 1st run the car was extremely fast and was spinning the wheels at 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5 gear changes like it was lauch control from the stand point... even spinning the wheels so badly and hitting the RPMS limiter at all gears 100-200 kmh time was 5,7sec which is almost 0,9 sec faster than my VT2-650 best summer time on DRs!!!

      I decided to start againg and at 4th gear at 6000 RPMS I felt some "boom-boom" sound in the exhaust and little jerking during the acceleration... That time I stopped testing and the next day the car was taken to a trailer to be delievered to my native town (1,000 miles from Moscow)...

      I went to BMW dealer for diagnostic of any potential problem and had conversations with ESS on that... Nothing was found, except for some instability in fuel pressure regulator work, and ESS sent me out that regulator which I was waiting for 3 weeks from US... In the meantime, I was driving the car moderately and found the thing that the car was starting jerking at any speed if I floor the pedal more that 1/4, but at the same time could easily heat 270 kmh if pushing the peda moderatedly....

      The whole milleage by the day of receiving new fuel pressure regulator and new sparks and coils (ESS recommendation to change) was 400 miles... Also, I ordered and received by that day Awron Gauge with full options...

      However, when we let off the sparks, the following picture was with the spark from 4th cylinder... It was melted.... All other sparks were OK...

      We measure the compression ration in all the cylinders and.... 10.5-10.7 in all except 4th cylinder - 8.8....(((

      So, we installed all the new plugs, coils and FPR, and also fully discassembled the manifold for installation of EAS stack for boost gauge, then assemble all back and I leaved the dealer for testing... The car was running sooo clean that day on mid RPMS and fast driving!!! So, I decided to go full throttle...

      1st run from 3rd gear from 40 to 230 kmh was clean and the time from 100 to 200 kmh was VT3 time...) I stopped the car and tried againg but from 2nd gear from 30 kmh. And.... at 7000 RPMS of that 2nd gear the car started jerking and afterwards working like 2 or 3 cylinders are not working.... (((

      On that conditions I drove to the dealer (15 miles)... So, the whole milleage after changing the sparks etc was 70 miles. We took off the spark from that 4 th cylinder and it was melted the same way We measured the compression in that cylinder and it was 5.... Changing the spark did not help at all and the car did not work properly....

      I decided to take it to the trailer to Moscow fro investigation by letting off the heads to understand the problem in detail... That was discovered:

      1) From the side of 1-4 cylinders:

      > burn-through of cylinder head gasket near 3-4 cylinder (2.7sm approx hole)
      > scratches in 3 and 4 cylinder
      > broken piston in 4th cylinder around the bottom of piston and not good piston in 3rd cylinder

      2) From the side of 5-8 cylinders:

      > scratches in 5 and 8 cylinders

      The guys told me that the traces of detonation could be found in all 8 cylinders...

      Fotos attached...

      The only thing I am doing for last 7 days is crying in the situation of full silence and absence of support from anywhere"



      ESS-Tuning perspective:

      "Sergi

      You have been told for a very long time you have no warranty or support on your kits because you have always modified them with additional boost going back to your very first kit which ran a 92mm pulley. The VT2-625 runs a 96mm pulley with much different software than a 650 kit. You should never run a VT2-625 with a 92mm pulley unless you intend to take full responsability. AJ has always told you that your motors will blow if you run more than intended boost while racing at your events. Your 2008 car was over boosted and lasted 67,000 of hardcore racing. It lasted much longer than it really should have, you were lucky.

      Your second motor you ran the VT2-650 crank and the same 92mm pulley which generates close to 12 psi of boost. This is far beyond what we run on our production kit. Off the shelf VT2-650 runs a 99mm SC pulley and generates 8 psi which is max you can run. Even if you claim 94mm with the 650 crank this is much smaller than what we spec and still generates close to 11 psi, you knew this at the time.

      We do not sell a VT3 product to the public currently, there is no such product on our website and we do not offer support for such a product currently. You were informed that if we built you a prototype high boost setup there would be no support on it. You also picked up the vehicle without allowing us to do any road testing. You were informed by AJ at the time that we did not have proper time or road conditions due to weather to do any extended testing but you insisted on taking delivery anyway. You later contacted AJ complaining of hesitation on acceleration and a diagnostic report showing a failed 02 sensor. You were told NOT to drive the car at all until you could install gauges to monitor fuel delivery / AFR's which you did not do. You decided to continue driving the car anyway despite AJ's instructions up to speeds 180 mph according to your email. Your motor failed after you were warned to not drive it. Iím not surprised the motor gave out considering you most likely had a fuel delivery issue like a failed pump pickup or fuel pressure regulator and maybe a bad 02 sensor with continued high load use.

      We told you before the motor blew to send the car in for inspection and you refused. You said you wanted to do it local. After your motor failed Hans told you over the phone last week to get the motor inspected locally then and follow up so we could see what could be done. You just emailed AJ and Hans yesterday with the results. Why would you make a post saying no one has followed up with you when we just got your email this weekend and we offered to help you out before the motor ever failed?

      This is a very good reminder as to why we tell customers to NOT modify our products and run more boost than designed and to follow our instructions at all times. Hopefully customers who currently are doing so or are considering doing so will learn from your mistake and not run more boost than we design the kit to run."

      "Again, just to make this 100% clear: There is a very good reason we set the maximum boost pressure the way we do in the various kit stages. We do not leave massive amounts of safe power on the table as some people seem to think. If you increase boost over our standard settings, there will be a much greater risk of failure as Sergei has demonstrated. The fact that the bolt-on 625 kit ran for 67.000 miles with a massively overboosting 92mm pulley is actually much longer than expected.

      When Sergei was getting ready for the Moscow unlimited 1 mile race on his second engine he asked me what I thought of running the 650 crank/92mm SC combo, and I specifically told him that he may get through the race but that the engine will with very high probability be damaged in a short period of time. The stock S65 simply can not take 11-12 PSI. He made his race, and the car ran for another week or two before caving in -as expected. The cost of a new engine is the price he chose to pay to run 4PSI overboost at his event.

      When it comes to the VT3, it is critical that fuel delivery is monitored at all times. If any part of the new stand-alone, high capacity fuel system fails the engine will be damaged in a matter of seconds at high load. In Sergei's case with a brand new VT3 prototype setup being installed, I told him that I strongly recommend leaving the car with us for 6-8 weeks after assembly to properly test it in various conditions. He did not have time for this and forced us to deliver the car 1 day after assembly with only a few dyno pulls and a short road test in 35F, wet roads conditions on it's back. He then chose to ignore my specific instructions on not operating the car hard without O2 monitoring equipment installed. I specifically recommended the EAS gauge setup. He chose to ignore all warnings, and he denied to send us the car back when he experienced high load acceleration hesitations and a primary O2 sensor on bank 2 error code. Instead he kept driving the car without any monitoring equipment until the engine eventually had massive failure due to fuel starvation combined with high load operation.

      We received the email of the engine condition yesterday from Sergei, and my initial plan was to simply have the car sent back to us in Norway as previously instructed and sleeve the block/install new pistons and go through the entire fuel system/O2 sensor system again to find the error that most likely has developed during his 2000 miles of use as the car operated and dynoed correctly before we delivered it. This is a relatively quick and easy fix that does not cost very much, however we do not and we never will give any kind of warranty on high-boost custom setups as the chance of failure is very high unless the driver is attentive and has proper measurement gauges installed. The VT3 is a race setup, and it should only be used by people who are aware of it's risks and high chance of long term problems due to the massive power delivery and the complex nature of the system. Sergei was informed over and over again of these risks, both on overboosting his previous VT2 kits as well as on the prototype VT3 setup.

      Sergei's VT3 engine build, boost and software is identical to Drew's setup. The only difference that keeps Drew's still running strong is the awareness of the driver when operating such a complex and delicate beast. If an O2 sensor goes bad, back off it! If one of the fuel pumps stops working correctly, back off it! Follow these simple rules and the VT3 will live for a long time as Drew has demonstrated."
      This article was originally published in forum thread: ESS VT3 M3 - Engine Fails Before 2,000 Miles started by benzy89 View original post
      Comments 144 Comments
      1. VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        VargasTurboTech -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
        100% AGREE ! If its obviously the builders fault you should do as much as possible o help the situation though.
        I agree 100%, and also I agree with D above, sucks for everyone involved, but I feel like when you sign up for that kind of power, you should educate yourself on the basics of when to stop running it and seek help when there is a problem, that this thread exists is like a black eye for both vendor and OP.
      1. Brian425's Avatar
        Brian425 -
        The vendor is hurt the most. Most people do not read the posts in detail and tend to side with the poor guy who spent $30-$50k. All they see is an ESS motor broke within 2000 miles.

        When I was racing my mustang, we ran into issues when we were running high boost. I worked with my machinist and we discussed various options to deal with it. First attempt did not work. We would blow head gaskets every few runs. Eventually, we o-ringed the block and a few other tricks and got it to work.

        I never once asked for any free work or warranty. I knew that I was building a full on race motor and it could break on the 1st pass. My machinist was very fair with me. He never killed me on the machine work and parts to fix it. The key was, we worked together.

        I do not think that the OP gave ESS the opportunity to work something out. I doubt the block is junk. They can bore it 30 over or sleeve it and get new pistons. That really is not a big dollar fix.

        If I was ESS, once this is worked out, I would fire him as a customer. There is not enough $$ in the build/install/tune to make it worthwhile.
      1. IMHOWTFFTW's Avatar
        IMHOWTFFTW -
        Agree.


        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Brian425 Click here to enlarge
        The vendor is hurt the most. Most people do not read the posts in detail and tend to side with the poor guy who spent $30-$50k. All they see is an ESS motor broke within 2000 miles.

        When I was racing my mustang, we ran into issues when we were running high boost. I worked with my machinist and we discussed various options to deal with it. First attempt did not work. We would blow head gaskets every few runs. Eventually, we o-ringed the block and a few other tricks and got it to work.

        I never once asked for any free work or warranty. I knew that I was building a full on race motor and it could break on the 1st pass. My machinist was very fair with me. He never killed me on the machine work and parts to fix it. The key was, we worked together.

        I do not think that the OP gave ESS the opportunity to work something out. I doubt the block is junk. They can bore it 30 over or sleeve it and get new pistons. That really is not a big dollar fix.

        If I was ESS, once this is worked out, I would fire him as a customer. There is not enough $$ in the build/install/tune to make it worthwhile.
      1. ChuckD05's Avatar
        ChuckD05 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Brian425 Click here to enlarge
        The vendor is hurt the most. Most people do not read the posts in detail and tend to side with the poor guy who spent $30-$50k. All they see is an ESS motor broke within 2000 miles.

        When I was racing my mustang, we ran into issues when we were running high boost. I worked with my machinist and we discussed various options to deal with it. First attempt did not work. We would blow head gaskets every few runs. Eventually, we o-ringed the block and a few other tricks and got it to work.

        I never once asked for any free work or warranty. I knew that I was building a full on race motor and it could break on the 1st pass. My machinist was very fair with me. He never killed me on the machine work and parts to fix it. The key was, we worked together.

        I do not think that the OP gave ESS the opportunity to work something out. I doubt the block is junk. They can bore it 30 over or sleeve it and get new pistons. That really is not a big dollar fix.

        If I was ESS, once this is worked out, I would fire him as a customer. There is not enough $$ in the build/install/tune to make it worthwhile.
        good post
      1. Group.america's Avatar
        Group.america -
        400 miles into a new motor and set up and OP drive it up to 160 mph in 3rd gear... really.. what an idiot.. ad infinitum... up to 290 kph on a new motor with modded SC... with fueling issues that he knew about.. then he has the gall to cry to ESS... after he had modded 2 other set ups with BLOWN MOTORS.....

        OP is really to blame here for probably 85-100% of the problem
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        All valid points, but at what point does the fact 3 of 4 vt3s blown implicate the builder/vt3 specs/tuning and not the customers that were using the car for its intended purpose?
      1. Brian425's Avatar
        Brian425 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        All valid points, but at what point does the fact 3 of 4 vt3s blown implicate the builder/vt3 specs/tuning and not the customers that were using the car for its intended purpose?
        Honestly, I think it is part of development. As I stated, once we crossed 25lbs of boost on the Mustangs, they would break all the time. We tried o-ringed head gaskets, moving away from aluminum heads, different head studs, single o-ringed blocks to a dual o-ring set up.

        I never once blamed my machinist. We we figuring out how to solve a problem and go faster. Blown head gaskets were so common, we would simply change them between every round.

        I was not a lack of skill or knowledge. I was pushing the envelop to go faster.

        The VT3 is not for sale as a package now. The guy who built that set up is a racer, "The fastest M3 in Russia."

        It costs a lot of money to go very fast. You can build a car that will rarely break; but, you will never be the fastest with that kind of set up. To be the fastest, you need to be experimenting. Sometimes, experimenting means breaking parts and spending money.

        We also need to understand the type of failures people are having. Are they all fuel related failures? Or did one spin a bearing and a second wipe a cam, etc.

        When the VT3 is sold to the public as a package, it will be fair to say that the failure rate is too high. Until then, it is a developmental project. The cost to get in is big $$$ and the willingingness to closely monitor the motor and deal with it if it breaks.
      1. VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        VargasTurboTech -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        All valid points, but at what point does the fact 3 of 4 vt3s blown implicate the builder/vt3 specs/tuning and not the customers that were using the car for its intended purpose?
        Using the car for its intended purpose? Sure that's like buying a laptop, overclocking the processor til its overheating and feeding its very low voltage on top of that, then crying to the company that built it when it finally fries itself. Its intended purpose, is to be run at the proper boost, with proper fuel, and tuning. The guy above also brings up a VERY solid point, 400 miles on a new motor, no where near broken in and the guy is just beating on it with known problems. ESS would be smart to fire this guy as a customer, I agree with that.
      1. Andrew@activeautowerke's Avatar
        Andrew@activeautowerke -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        Using the car for its intended purpose? Sure that's like buying a laptop, overclocking the processor til its overheating and feeding its very low voltage on top of that, then crying to the company that built it when it finally fries itself. Its intended purpose, is to be run at the proper boost, with proper fuel, and tuning. The guy above also brings up a VERY solid point, 400 miles on a new motor, no where near broken in and the guy is just beating on it with known problems. ESS would be smart to fire this guy as a customer, I agree with that.

        Well to be fair Like @LostMarine said you can't go around shipping kits with all different pulley sizes leaving customers in the dark and being shady then expect customer to be anything but shady as well.. Most have no clue what pulley size they have and the ones that do oddly enough have the highest 625 kit dyno's which are higher than 650 kits... ?? WEIRD.

        Lesson for the day.
        1.Don't sell kits that are not 100% ready for a customer to beat up on.
        2. Be more open especially when a paying customer is asking for details about their own kit.
      1. VargasTurboTech's Avatar
        VargasTurboTech -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
        Well to be fair Like @LostMarine said you can't go around shipping kits with all different pulley sizes leaving customers in the dark and being shady then expect customer to be anything but shady as well.. Most have no clue what pulley size they have and the ones that do oddly enough have the highest 625 kit dyno's which are higher than 650 kits... ?? WEIRD.

        Lesson for the day. Don't sell kits that are not 100% ready for a customer to beat up on.
        This guy knowing says he was running higher than suggested boost, he claims to be the fastest M3 in Russia, this means he is constantly pushing on the car, my guess is he knew exactly which pulley he had and requested the one for higher boost. I do agree with you to a point, but that the guy made this thread to bash the vendor, then reading how the car was ran, just seems a little low to me.
      1. Andrew@activeautowerke's Avatar
        Andrew@activeautowerke -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by VargasTurboTech Click here to enlarge
        This guy knowing says he was running higher than suggested boost, he claims to be the fastest M3 in Russia, this means he is constantly pushing on the car, my guess is he knew exactly which pulley he had and requested the one for higher boost. I do agree with you to a point, but that the guy made this thread to bash the vendor, then reading how the car was ran, just seems a little low to me.
        Yeah we are on the same page. I was just talking about their odd pulley practices. This is the customers fault not only for running higher boost than they told him to but, also for buying a 3rd kit after he blew his engine twice already. Time will tell if he buys a 4th haha.
      1. dzenno@PTF's Avatar
        dzenno@PTF -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
        Yeah we are on the same page. I was just talking about their odd pulley practices. This is the customers fault not only for running higher boost than they told him to but for buying a 3rd kit after he blew his engine twice already. Time will tell if he buys a 4th haha.
        At some point ethics and/or common sense should hopefully kick in and ESS should reconsider to deal with the same or similar customers again especially on something as critical as beta testing their new and expensive offerings. This particular customer should also use common sense and learn from his mistakes and never try to do something similar again without understanding the risks/consequences.
      1. Andrew@activeautowerke's Avatar
        Andrew@activeautowerke -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno@PTF Click here to enlarge
        At some point ethics and/or common sense should hopefully kick in and ESS should reconsider to deal with the same or similar customers again especially on something as critical as beta testing their new and expensive offerings. This particular customer should also use common sense and learn from his mistakes and never try to do something similar again without understanding the risks/consequences.

        The E9x community could learn a lot from the e36 crowd. Race engines and built projects engines do Not come with any warranty.
      1. dzenno@PTF's Avatar
        dzenno@PTF -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
        The E9x community could learn a lot from the e36 crowd. Race engines and built projects engines do Not come with any warranty.
        Agree.
      1. Brian425's Avatar
        Brian425 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Andrew@activeautowerke Click here to enlarge
        Most have no clue what pulley size they have
        I have to disagree a little. In the first post, the owner states:

        “I was running VT2-625 with 92mm pulley” and
        “I installed VT2-650 spec crank pulley and 94mm SC pulley which resulted to almost 9 psi boost.”


        So he knew the impact of changing the pully and I am guessing the risk of adding more boost.


        I have never done any business with ESS, so I cannot comment on them being shady. That is not my place to make any decision or comment.


        We are on different sides of these transactions. I am the customer/racer and you are the builder. Honestly, I would be a bit upset if I was not able to get your most cutting edge stuff. The key is that I need to understand that once I move out of the bullet proof set ups, it's all on my dime.

        I think where ESS went wrong was in choosing the customer. It seems they have a long history. At this point, they both should know what they are getting.

        On both sides, attitude counts. I know nothing about how each side treated/spoke to each other. I do know that if I call you and said "Andrew, I struggling with this set up. We need to figure out how to fix XXX issue" I will get alot more than blasting you in a forum or to your face. At these levels (making the fasetes of anything) it has to be a partnership.
      1. IMHOWTFFTW's Avatar
        IMHOWTFFTW -
        Yep.


        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Brian425 Click here to enlarge
        I have to disagree a little. In the first post, the owner states:

        “I was running VT2-625 with 92mm pulley” and
        “I installed VT2-650 spec crank pulley and 94mm SC pulley which resulted to almost 9 psi boost.”


        So he knew the impact of changing the pully and I am guessing the risk of adding more boost.


        I have never done any business with ESS, so I cannot comment on them being shady. That is not my place to make any decision or comment.


        We are on different sides of these transactions. I am the customer/racer and you are the builder. Honestly, I would be a bit upset if I was not able to get your most cutting edge stuff. The key is that I need to understand that once I move out of the bullet proof set ups, it's all on my dime.

        I think where ESS went wrong was in choosing the customer. It seems they have a long history. At this point, they both should know what they are getting.

        On both sides, attitude counts. I know nothing about how each side treated/spoke to each other. I do know that if I call you and said "Andrew, I struggling with this set up. We need to figure out how to fix XXX issue" I will get alot more than blasting you in a forum or to your face. At these levels (making the fasetes of anything) it has to be a partnership.
      1. Andrew@activeautowerke's Avatar
        Andrew@activeautowerke -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Brian425 Click here to enlarge
        I have to disagree a little. In the first post, the owner states:

        “I was running VT2-625 with 92mm pulley” and
        “I installed VT2-650 spec crank pulley and 94mm SC pulley which resulted to almost 9 psi boost.”


        So he knew the impact of changing the pully and I am guessing the risk of adding more boost.


        I have never done any business with ESS, so I cannot comment on them being shady. That is not my place to make any decision or comment.


        We are on different sides of these transactions. I am the customer/racer and you are the builder. Honestly, I would be a bit upset if I was not able to get your most cutting edge stuff. The key is that I need to understand that once I move out of the bullet proof set ups, it's all on my dime.

        I think where ESS went wrong was in choosing the customer. It seems they have a long history. At this point, they both should know what they are getting.

        On both sides, attitude counts. I know nothing about how each side treated/spoke to each other. I do know that if I call you and said "Andrew, I struggling with this set up. We need to figure out how to fix XXX issue" I will get alot more than blasting you in a forum or to your face. At these levels (making the fasetes of anything) it has to be a partnership.
        Again I was not talking about this situation but, the fact that some 625 kits are shipped with smaller pulleys than others.

        In this situation ESS Should not be liable for anything.
      1. GearHead03's Avatar
        GearHead03 -
        He is not complaining that his VT2 S/C Kit blew, he was happy with blowing that one as it lasted so long; ESS was happy to have him as he was running the car in the Unlim 500. its when things go sour that both parties have issues - Customer because his newly rebuilt motor lets go - ESS because customer spoke publicly about his disastrous ordeal
      1. Irishace's Avatar
        Irishace -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno@PTF Click here to enlarge
        At some point ethics and/or common sense should hopefully kick in and ESS should reconsider to deal with the same or similar customers again especially on something as critical as beta testing their new and expensive offerings. This particular customer should also use common sense and learn from his mistakes and never try to do something similar again without understanding the risks/consequences.
        It would appear that the OP has more money than brains and that is the problem. As for ESS, not a raving fan about how they have handled this.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        The photos you will see below are of a blown S65 V8. Even the novice enthusiast can glance over the photos and see that something clearly was not right. So who is at fault? Is it ESS for a sloppy product? Is is it the owner for pushing his setup beyond where he should have? Is it perhaps a bad batch of fuel? Is it perhaps a freak accident? Is it perhaps a combination? The point being when you supercharge a high revving V8 that comes from the factory naturally aspirated you are taking risks.

        No company is expected to cover user error. If this is a case of the user pushing too much boost it is clearly his own fault. However, if this is the case of a product that has not undergone significant testing and without the necessary quality tuning to accompany it that would mean blame is not in the hands of the user.

        BimmerBoost is quick to point out there are hundreds of ESS supercharged cars on the road logging thousands of miles and running well. BimmerBoost is also quick to point out there are not thousands of miles on VT3 built motor setups and ESS does not officially even offer such a setup. How some users end up with these setups that one can not even officially purchase is up to you to figure out.

        When modifying cars there is a certain risk involved. Especially when pushing past double the horsepower if not more than a car had off the assembly line. It is important to work with a company that will work with you. Somebody that understands that pushing the limit comes with risks and there may be errors that are not anyone's fault. You live, you learn, you move on, and try to address whatever needs to be addressed.

        Below you will find the owner's take and you will also find the take of ESS-Tuning. Read it all and come to your own conclusion. Additionally, if you wish to push the limit keep in mind you should choose a company that will work with you and address any problems for your benefit as well as their own. There is a difference between supercharging and tuning an M3 and building the M3 S65 V8, supercharging it, and tuning it. If you make the wrong decisions you may end up in a finger pointing game with nothing positive being accomplished.

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        Owner's Take:

        "It's a long story and the thread's title is self-speaking but I want to share that $#@!ty situation I've been dropped in these "Happy New Year" days....Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge

        My car is E90 M3 2008 with DCT - well known in Russia (Moscow Unlim 500+) and Europe being the fastest ESS car there.

        The story started in October 2009 when my car became the world's 1st production E9X M3 with ESS SC kit. The milleage was 13,000 miles at that moment. The car was DD and going through lots of pulleys and soft modifications, I was running VT2-625 with 92mm pulley (which is equal to VT2-650) for 2.5 years when in May 2012 at 67,000 miles the engine decided to blow... Piston is 7th cylinder was broken somehow and 3 inches hole appeared in the block...

        That time I bought low-milleage (less that 1,000 miles) used 2011 engine and installed it. In May 2013 I installed VT2-650 spec crank pulley and 94mm SC pulley which resulted to almost 9 psi boost. That setup was used for 1 day Race Event (1 Mile race) only with 104 RON race fuel. After that day the car was reverted to normal VT2-650 specs.

        However, in 2 weeks after that day this new engine also decided to blow, being used for 13,000 miles only... The hole in the block appeared in the 4th cylinder...

        No need to say that the car was always serviced with love and oil was changed every 3,000 miles and fuel used was 98+ RON...

        So, 2 engines gone is 1 year((((((((((

        That time I agreed with ESS to send the car as it is to Norway from Russia for full VT3 build... That was late June 2013.

        31 October 2013, after lots of problems with availability of BMW OEM spare parts, I received the car!!! However, it was tested on dyno for 50 runs and only half day of driving after the build cause it was very cold already in Norway...But the car was running absolutely clean during that testing (per ESS understanding) and Hans delivered the car to me!!!

        ESS did:

        1) fully build VT3 engine (low milleage "donor" was bought by them in Germany) with 10:1 pistons, Carillo rods, ESS rod bearings etc.

        2) fully build VT3 fuel system.

        3) VT3 belt system.

        I was very happy and started my long trip to Moscow (1,500 miles) which I considered the best way for breaking in the engine on good european fuel...

        On my trip to Moscow engine RPMs were no more than 4,000 - I am very conservative in breaking in procedures.... When I came to Moscow, I changed the oil and decided to go and make 2-3 runs from 40 to 250 kmh to understand the difference...

        In the 1st run the car was extremely fast and was spinning the wheels at 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5 gear changes like it was lauch control from the stand point...Click here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge even spinning the wheels so badly and hitting the RPMS limiter at all gears 100-200 kmh time was 5,7sec which is almost 0,9 sec faster than my VT2-650 best summer time on DRs!!!

        I decided to start againg and at 4th gear at 6000 RPMS I felt some "boom-boom" sound in the exhaust and little jerking during the acceleration... That time I stopped testing and the next day the car was taken to a trailer to be delievered to my native town (1,000 miles from Moscow)...

        I went to BMW dealer for diagnostic of any potential problem and had conversations with ESS on that... Nothing was found, except for some instability in fuel pressure regulator work, and ESS sent me out that regulator which I was waiting for 3 weeks from US... In the meantime, I was driving the car moderately and found the thing that the car was starting jerking at any speed if I floor the pedal more that 1/4, but at the same time could easily heat 270 kmh if pushing the peda moderatedly....

        The whole milleage by the day of receiving new fuel pressure regulator and new sparks and coils (ESS recommendation to change) was 400 miles... Also, I ordered and received by that day Awron Gauge with full options...Click here to enlarge

        However, when we let off the sparks, the following picture was with the spark from 4th cylinder... It was melted.... All other sparks were OK...

        We measure the compression ration in all the cylinders and.... 10.5-10.7 in all except 4th cylinder - 8.8....(((

        So, we installed all the new plugs, coils and FPR, and also fully discassembled the manifold for installation of EAS stack for boost gauge, then assemble all back and I leaved the dealer for testing... The car was running sooo clean that day on mid RPMS and fast driving!!! So, I decided to go full throttle...

        1st run from 3rd gear from 40 to 230 kmh was clean and the time from 100 to 200 kmh was VT3 time...) I stopped the car and tried againg but from 2nd gear from 30 kmh. And.... at 7000 RPMS of that 2nd gear the car started jerking and afterwards working like 2 or 3 cylinders are not working.... (((

        On that conditions I drove to the dealer (15 miles)... So, the whole milleage after changing the sparks etc was 70 miles. We took off the spark from that 4 th cylinder and it was melted the same wayClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge We measured the compression in that cylinder and it was 5.... Changing the spark did not help at all and the car did not work properly....

        I decided to take it to the trailer to Moscow fro investigation by letting off the heads to understand the problem in detail... That was discovered:

        1) From the side of 1-4 cylinders:

        > burn-through of cylinder head gasket near 3-4 cylinder (2.7sm approx hole)
        > scratches in 3 and 4 cylinder
        > broken piston in 4th cylinder around the bottom of piston and not good piston in 3rd cylinder

        2) From the side of 5-8 cylinders:

        > scratches in 5 and 8 cylinders

        The guys told me that the traces of detonation could be found in all 8 cylinders...

        Fotos attached...

        The only thing I am doing for last 7 days is crying in the situation of full silence and absence of support from anywhereClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlargeClick here to enlarge"



        ESS-Tuning perspective:

        "Sergi

        You have been told for a very long time you have no warranty or support on your kits because you have always modified them with additional boost going back to your very first kit which ran a 92mm pulley. The VT2-625 runs a 96mm pulley with much different software than a 650 kit. You should never run a VT2-625 with a 92mm pulley unless you intend to take full responsability. AJ has always told you that your motors will blow if you run more than intended boost while racing at your events. Your 2008 car was over boosted and lasted 67,000 of hardcore racing. It lasted much longer than it really should have, you were lucky.

        Your second motor you ran the VT2-650 crank and the same 92mm pulley which generates close to 12 psi of boost. This is far beyond what we run on our production kit. Off the shelf VT2-650 runs a 99mm SC pulley and generates 8 psi which is max you can run. Even if you claim 94mm with the 650 crank this is much smaller than what we spec and still generates close to 11 psi, you knew this at the time.

        We do not sell a VT3 product to the public currently, there is no such product on our website and we do not offer support for such a product currently. You were informed that if we built you a prototype high boost setup there would be no support on it. You also picked up the vehicle without allowing us to do any road testing. You were informed by AJ at the time that we did not have proper time or road conditions due to weather to do any extended testing but you insisted on taking delivery anyway. You later contacted AJ complaining of hesitation on acceleration and a diagnostic report showing a failed 02 sensor. You were told NOT to drive the car at all until you could install gauges to monitor fuel delivery / AFR's which you did not do. You decided to continue driving the car anyway despite AJ's instructions up to speeds 180 mph according to your email. Your motor failed after you were warned to not drive it. I’m not surprised the motor gave out considering you most likely had a fuel delivery issue like a failed pump pickup or fuel pressure regulator and maybe a bad 02 sensor with continued high load use.

        We told you before the motor blew to send the car in for inspection and you refused. You said you wanted to do it local. After your motor failed Hans told you over the phone last week to get the motor inspected locally then and follow up so we could see what could be done. You just emailed AJ and Hans yesterday with the results. Why would you make a post saying no one has followed up with you when we just got your email this weekend and we offered to help you out before the motor ever failed?

        This is a very good reminder as to why we tell customers to NOT modify our products and run more boost than designed and to follow our instructions at all times. Hopefully customers who currently are doing so or are considering doing so will learn from your mistake and not run more boost than we design the kit to run."

        "Again, just to make this 100% clear: There is a very good reason we set the maximum boost pressure the way we do in the various kit stages. We do not leave massive amounts of safe power on the table as some people seem to think. If you increase boost over our standard settings, there will be a much greater risk of failure as Sergei has demonstrated. The fact that the bolt-on 625 kit ran for 67.000 miles with a massively overboosting 92mm pulley is actually much longer than expected.

        When Sergei was getting ready for the Moscow unlimited 1 mile race on his second engine he asked me what I thought of running the 650 crank/92mm SC combo, and I specifically told him that he may get through the race but that the engine will with very high probability be damaged in a short period of time. The stock S65 simply can not take 11-12 PSI. He made his race, and the car ran for another week or two before caving in -as expected. The cost of a new engine is the price he chose to pay to run 4PSI overboost at his event.

        When it comes to the VT3, it is critical that fuel delivery is monitored at all times. If any part of the new stand-alone, high capacity fuel system fails the engine will be damaged in a matter of seconds at high load. In Sergei's case with a brand new VT3 prototype setup being installed, I told him that I strongly recommend leaving the car with us for 6-8 weeks after assembly to properly test it in various conditions. He did not have time for this and forced us to deliver the car 1 day after assembly with only a few dyno pulls and a short road test in 35F, wet roads conditions on it's back. He then chose to ignore my specific instructions on not operating the car hard without O2 monitoring equipment installed. I specifically recommended the EAS gauge setup. He chose to ignore all warnings, and he denied to send us the car back when he experienced high load acceleration hesitations and a primary O2 sensor on bank 2 error code. Instead he kept driving the car without any monitoring equipment until the engine eventually had massive failure due to fuel starvation combined with high load operation.

        We received the email of the engine condition yesterday from Sergei, and my initial plan was to simply have the car sent back to us in Norway as previously instructed and sleeve the block/install new pistons and go through the entire fuel system/O2 sensor system again to find the error that most likely has developed during his 2000 miles of use as the car operated and dynoed correctly before we delivered it. This is a relatively quick and easy fix that does not cost very much, however we do not and we never will give any kind of warranty on high-boost custom setups as the chance of failure is very high unless the driver is attentive and has proper measurement gauges installed. The VT3 is a race setup, and it should only be used by people who are aware of it's risks and high chance of long term problems due to the massive power delivery and the complex nature of the system. Sergei was informed over and over again of these risks, both on overboosting his previous VT2 kits as well as on the prototype VT3 setup.

        Sergei's VT3 engine build, boost and software is identical to Drew's setup. The only difference that keeps Drew's still running strong is the awareness of the driver when operating such a complex and delicate beast. If an O2 sensor goes bad, back off it! If one of the fuel pumps stops working correctly, back off it! Follow these simple rules and the VT3 will live for a long time as Drew has demonstrated."